This post is my contribution #Architalks 34. Architalks is the archi-blog phenomenon started by Bob Borson of Life of an Architect. Every month, a motley crew of archi-bloggers gather to write about the same topic. This month’s Architalks topic is “Renewal,” suggested by Larry Lucas of LucasSustainable.com. This is a very appropriate post for this time of year, when folks are focused on new year’s resolutions and goals for 2018.
2018 is definitely a “renewal” year for me. In 2018, I will literally become a new me. I try to use the word literally sparingly, as it is literally one of the most overused words. But I am sticking to my guns. (Figuratively) Literally, I will become a new me in 3 big ways:
Steve Ramos: the Dad
My wife and I are extremely grateful and excited about our next chapter as parents. Sometime around April 5th we hope to welcome a new little nugget into our family. This will be our first child, therefore we are ecstatic and also very nervous! What are we getting ourselves into?
We have decided to not find out the sex of the baby until the birth because we are crazy like that! If you are wondering if we have a baby room ready, the answer is absolutely not. But there is a good reason for that later in this post.
Can't wait to meet my new drafting buddy!
Steve Ramos: the Professor
I recently began teaching an architecture studio class at the College of Charleston. The class is part of a new graduate program called “Community Planning Policy and Design.” I have always enjoyed teaching and this class is perfect for me. The class will be using Charleston as a laboratory for exploring architecture and urban design.
The nice thing is that the class is at night, therefore I don’t miss any time from my role at LS3P. The College is on my walk home so I can just swing by the campus, teach for a couple hours and then walk home.
It is perfect.
Steve Ramos: the Published Author
I dedicated most of my writing time in 2017 towards the development of my first book. I have always felt that there was a tremendous gap between Architecture School and the Profession. I have compiled the most valuable lessons I have learned in my career in hopes of helping the next generation excel and perhaps avoid some of the mistake I have made. The title for the book is in constant evolution, but I am 68% sure it will be: What I Didn’t Learn in Architecture School.
The previous title, which is listed on the website, is Breaking the Box: Explode out of Architecture School to a Successful Career as an Architect.
The previous 12 months have involved writing the 50,000 word manuscript and then rewriting. Next I will be hiring an editor and working on the formatting of the book. The goal is to have the book published by March 1.
Steve Ramos, the Owner of a Walk-In Closet
This is perhaps the most direct example of renewal. Our “Little Brick Box,” is about to get another renewal. We are about to embark on our 3rd major construction project to our home in 5 years. Followers of the blog will recall our previous addition, which I shared on the blog: New Year New Home.
For this project we will be adding a 300sf addition to the back of our home. The genesis for this addition is creating a master suite and gaining better storage space. The future addition to our family was definitely in our mind with this architectural addition. We love our neighborhood and house and just need a little more space to make it a long term home.
This addition will add a small guest room on the ground floor and will expand one of our 2nd floor bedrooms to include an ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet. It isn’t a ton of space, but it will be very important space.
So when people ask if we have the baby room ready, it really isn’t even on our radar. Our house is about to get torn apart and put back together. I wish painting a room was all I had to worry about.
Talk about anxiety.
I am very excited about this evolution, but I am also frightened. I know that becoming a parent is going to be a major shock. Whenever I tell a dude that I am about to have my first child a funny thing happens. They look at me as if they have seen a ghost and say, “your life is about to change.” There is a 2 second pause when they realize what they have said, and then they snap back, “but for the good though!”
No doubt, our world is about to get rocked. I feel like I am prepared to get rocked, but just don’t know what it will be like. It’s like purposefully letting a tidal wave hit you. You kinda know what is going to happen but will likely be surprised. Does that make any sense?
I also have anxiety about teaching. This is more about maintaining balance. No matter how tough of a day I have previously had in the office, or how little sleep I have had due to the baby, I need to bring the energy to the classroom. These students deserve it.
And how about book stress? The book has really been weighing on me the last few months. As I get closer to completion the reality of it is scary. Sitting down to write every day has been the easy part. Getting everything buttoned up and ready for prime-time has been daunting. And then the fear that the book may not resonate or help people is frightening. What if nobody buys this thing I have slaved over for a year? I guess time will tell.
Despite these anxieties, I am charging forward. Taking on new challenges is paramount to growth. This is something that I firmly embrace. Why else would I take on a teaching job, publish a book, and renovate our home while welcoming a newborn into our home?
No guts, no glory!
I hope you liked this post. Please be a pal and check out fellow archi-bloggers in the links below.
Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
get out of town renewal
Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Jeremiah Russell, AIA - ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Renewal - Re-Ranch
Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Jeffrey Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
5 Tips for Harnessing Renewal to Advance Your Goals
Samantha R. Markham - The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
reNEWal. new year. new goals
Jim Mehaffey - Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Renewal (at Each Beginning)
Tim Ung - Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
Larry Lucas - Lucas Sustainable, PLLC (@LarryLucasArch)
Renewal is Valuable for Heart and Hometown
Steve Mouzon - The Original Green Blog (@stevemouzon)
The 12 Steps of Sprawl Recovery